DPS Phantom is a formula that bonds to the base of your ski or snowboard. You apply it once and maybe you need to do a base grind once in a while. DPS claims to have nailed its formula, making it a replacement for traditional ski and snowboard wax. The idea of applying a wax just once and never having to wax again is a very enticing thought. I went through the process of applying Phantom to a splitboard and had surprising results. Check the full review below the video.
Application of DPS Phantom
DPS Phantom comes in a box with two packets of part “A”, two packets of part “B”, three pairs of latex gloves, an application pad and a versatile cork/brush tool. I studied the online instruction video. It suggests cleaning the base of the ski or snowboard to remove all old wax. Then apply part “A” to the base. The fluid reminds me of a Nikwax kind of treatment, a strong smelling thick liquid. It is recommended to massage the packet to make sure it is broken up. I applied it at 10am, outside on my patio. The fluid comes out easily.
Phantom is UV-cured, so once you spread it around with the supplied foam application pad, you let it “cook” in the sun for three hours. I left it on the deck for three hours but it did not feel like it made a good base penetration. Maybe it is because the deck faces north, maybe it is because it is winter. The temperature was in the 50s.
After three hours of letting the sun cook part “A” into the base. I did not feel like it fully bonded so I wound up putting the splitboard back in the sun for another four hours the next day. I wiped it clean and applied part B in the same method. Once I felt that the formula had bonded, I used the cork to push the formula into the base. Then I used the wire brush on the base, per the instructions.
DPS Phantom – First Ride
I took the Phantomed splitboard out for a test run. It was actually a great powder day, so trusting this product on a much-needed pow day was a challenging thought. I toured up to a go-to spot and got ready to go into ride mode. The first thing I noticed was the G3 skins ripped off the board with ease. That was a big bonus. Skins off and ready to shred, I was anticipating an epic powder run. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite. The board grabbed much more than usual. To be fair – DPS does recommend that you “prep” the ski or snowboard by riding at a resort for a day. I don’t ride resorts, so this is what I have to work with, the beautiful backcountry.
Once out of the glorious powder, I was back on a cat track. The board just stuck to the snow. Very frustrating, but again, DPS recommends that you ride a resort to prep the board. After getting down the cat track, I spent 15 minutes just “skootching” back and forth to “prep” the board. DPS says that 2 runs at the local resort will be all you need to get the board “prepped” for riding.
DPS Phantom After Prep
Once again, I headed back to the exact same backcountry spot to see if the Phantom treatment is getting better. The snow was now a bit wetter from the warmer weather. Non the less, I sought out the exact same line I did the day before, in hopes of getting a fair test. This time the board did move more freely. Not as well as a properly waxed board, but better than the first day. On the cat track the board was slow again, but once got some good speed, the board was as fast as a good wax job. I repeated the process and was able to replicate similar results. Each time the board got faster and felt more like a traditionally waxed board. For comparison, I tested a brand new Never Summer splitboard with factory wax on the exact same run. Out of the gate, the Never Summer was better in snow and cat tracks. After several runs, the Phantomed board and the control board seemed to almost even out.
Review: DPS Phantom
DPS Phantom may be good for resort riding or possibly warm, wet snow. It does a great job of keeping skins from sticking. That was a big positive take away. My fantasy was having a splitboard that did not need frequent waxing, would not get gunked up by skins and would perform at all temperatures. DPS Phantom delivers on keeping skins from sticking and providing adequate glide. Phantom could be a very good tool for resort riders, shops with rental gear and possibly ski and snowboard manufactures. If you enjoy waxing and tuning your own equipment, then you may want to stick to that.
I plan on giving the DPS Phantom a full 2 months of backcountry riding before making a final conclusion. This way I can get the board into warmer weather and see how it performs in spring conditions. Phantom could be a great solution for many skiers and snowboarders. Just remember to prep the ski with some solid runs before expecting great results. Buy from the links, below, or directly from DPS.